Are Pyrolysis & Gasification the Answer for PFAS in Biosolids? | WWD Weekly Digest

Dec. 8, 2022
Pyrolysis and gasification are useful tools for managing biosolids, and research from Brown and Caldwell shows it also holds promise for PFAS destruction.

Biosolids management for wastewater treatment plants, water resource recovery facilities and other similar municipal plants has always presented a challenge. And with increased focus on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which are found in biosolids, the public has growing concerns about destruction of the organic materials that result from wastewater treatment, particularly due to how difficult PFAS are to destroy.

Lloyd Winchell, associate engineer for Brown and Caldwell, shares information on the research he conducted around pyrolysis and gasification for water resource recovery facilities and the promise it holds for biosolids management. The technology has even shown as a possible destruction method for the so called "forever chemicals" or PFAS.

Additional Resources


  • Intro | 0:00
  • The challenge of PFAS in biosolids | 0:19
  • Pyrolysis, thermal oxidation and gasification | 1:00
  • Resource recovery uses for biochar | 2:15
  • The fate of PFAS through pyrolysis systems | 3:03
  • Outro | 4:02

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About the Author

Bob Crossen

Bob Crossen is the editorial director for the Endeavor Business Media Water Group, which publishes WaterWorld, Wastewater Digest and Stormwater Solutions. Crossen graduated from Illinois State University in Dec. 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in German and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. He worked for Campbell Publications, a weekly newspaper company in rural Illinois outside St. Louis for four years as a reporter and regional editor.